College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award


2012 Recipient: Alfred U. Mac Rae ’54, G’57, G’60 (B.S., M.S., Ph.D. physics)

Mac Rae
Alfred U. Mac Rae is a pioneer in the research and development of integrated circuits and satellite technology. He retired in 1995 as director of Skynet Satellite Communications Laboratory, a division of AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories. Early in his career, Mac Rae oversaw the development of a process that led to the inexpensive mass production of modern silicon integrated circuits and was appointed head of the Exploratory Semiconductor Technology Department for Bell Telephone Laboratories and later director of Integrated Circuit Development.


Reassigned in 1983 to the Bell Labs Satellite Communications and Signal Processing Laboratory, Mac Rae was part of a division that designed new satellites, monitored their manufacturing, oversaw the design of the rockets that launched the satellites, tested the satellites, monitored the satellites orbiting the Earth at facilities across the country, and developed satellite-based communications services.

During the course of his career, Mac Rae published more than 50 papers, was awarded 18 patents on ion implantation and integrated circuit fabrication techniques, and was recognized for his work by three distinguished awards from the IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers). In 2003, Mac Rae was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering.

Learn More about Alfred U. Mac Rae.


Distinguished Alumni Award Past Recipients


2009 - Christopher Tennyson ’73 (B.A. american studies)
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Christopher Tennyson, senior vice president and senior partner of Fleishman- Hillard, provides crisis communications services to a wide range of industries. Before joining Fleishman, he was a principal at Seyferth & Associates, senior vice president of corporate affairs at the Taubman Company, and senior vice president of public relations at Hill & Knowlton. He is a longtime member of The College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors.

2008 - Michael Thonis ’72 (B.S. geology)
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Michael Thonis is the managing director and chief operating officer of Charlesbank Capital Partners, a private equity investment firm in Boston he co-founded in 1998.  Prior to co-founding his company, he was a managing director at Harvard Private Capital Group.  He serves on the Boards of Trustees of Boston Museum of Science, New England Conservatory, and Syracuse University.

2007 - Martha E. Bellinger ’72 (B.A. political science)
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Martha E. Bellinger, a former minister in the United Methodist Church and later the first open lesbian appointed to the bench in California, retired from Los Angeles County Superior courts in 2011. Since then, she has worked for IVAMS, one of California’s leading alternative dispute resolution firms. In addition to helping youth and families in eastern Los Angeles County, Bellinger has focused much of her career on dependency, delinquency, family law, and same-sex couple issues. Bellinger is the author of the critically acclaimed “From Robe to Robe: A Lesbian’s Spiritual Journey”(Trafford Publishing, 2010).


Learn More about Martha E. Bellinger.

2006 - Carole Leland ’56 (B.A. english)
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Carole Leland is a principal at Leadership Enterprises, a management-consulting firm in San Diego, Calif., that draws on her extensive experience in leadership development. Leland’s commitment to public health, in particular, has led to assignments all over the world, including Ethiopia, where she recently served as the lead consultant to a project involving the minister of health. Leland has also held positions at the Center for Creative Leadership; taught at Rutgers University and the University of California, Riverside; and co-authored one of the leading books on women and leadership, “Women of Influence, Women of Vision: A Cross-Generational Study of Leaders of Social Change” (Jossey-Bass, 1991). She is a member of The College’s Board of Visitors.


Learn More about Carole Leland.

2005 - Mary Ann Hardenbergh ’56 (B.A. sociology)
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Mary Ann Hardenbergh has been involved as an elder services specialist for Action for Boston Community Development, an antipoverty agency in Massachusetts. She has also served as president and chair of the Massachusetts Board of Education, president of the Boston League of Women Voters, and director of Project Healthy Plus. As an activist, Hardenbergh has co-chaired the Citizens for Public Schools, co-founded the Greater Boston Civil Rights Coalition, chaired the Massachusetts Coalition for Equitable Education, and volunteered for Boston Partners in Education.

2004 - Beverly Petterson Bishop ’44 (B.A. mathematics) (1922-2008)
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Beverly Petterson Bishop served as professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, where she studied how the nervous system controls muscle activity. Her teaching career spanned more than 50 years, during which she authored more than 150 scholarly articles (including several ground-breaking ones about neuroplasticity), edited four books, and produced seminal monographs and book chapters on neurophysiology. Prior to her death in 2008, she received top awards for teaching excellence from SUNY.


Learn More about Beverly Petterson Bishop.

2004 - Charles W. Bishop ’42, G’44 (B.S. and M.S. chemistry)
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Charles W. Bishop is associate professor emeritus of medicine at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. He is a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, having designed the CODEN system while working at the University at Buffalo’s Chronic Disease Research Institute. Since then, much of his work has been devoted to making medical information readily available through the Web. In 2011, he honored the memory of his wife by establishing the Beverly Petterson Bishop Professorship in Neuroscience in the Department of Biology in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

2003 - Jane W. Present ’56 (B.A. english/television-radio-film)
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Jane W. Present is founder ofthe Friends of the Leadership and Public Service High School, an SU mentor/mentee alliance in New York City; a founding member of the Mt. Sinai Comprehensive Breast Resource Center; executive director of the Foundation for Clinical Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease; and a trustee of the Central Park Conservancy. In addition to serving as a patient educator for various pharmaceutical companies, the 2012 Arents Award winner has served as president and chair of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America.

2003 - Daniel H. Present ’55 (B.A. biology)
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Daniel H. Present is a clinical professor at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and an attending physician at The Mt. Sinai Medical Center, both in New York City. An expert in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, he is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association and American College of Gastroenterology; founder of the Foundation for Clinical Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease; and a past member of the National Scientific Advisory Board and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. He was honored with SU’s George Arents Award in 2008. 


Learn more about Daniel H. Present.

2002 - Richard B. Dobbis ’70 (B.S. zoology)
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Richard B. Dobbis is co-founder of myKaZootv, a production company specializing in family-appropriate music and videos, and the eponymously named Rick Dobbis Organization, Global (R-DOG), whose clients include the Rolling Stones, Yanni, and singer-songwriter Jake Winstrom. Dobbis previously served as president of Sony Music International, president of PolyGram Continental Europe, and senior vice president of Arista Records. He is a member of The College’s Board of Visitors and serves on the board of Education Through Music.


Learn More about Rick Dobbis.

2001 - Maria Reichmanis ’68, G’70, G’73 (B.A., M.S., Ph.D. physics)
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After graduating from Syracuse University with a Ph.D. in physics, Maria Reichmanis led an active research program as a biophysicist before she returned to college to earn a law degree in 1992 from the University of South Carolina. She opened a law practice in South Carolina specializing intellectual property law with an emphasis on the prosecution of U.S. and international patent applications.

2001 - William J. Sours, Jr. ’48 (B.A. english) (1923 - 2002)
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William J. Sours, Jr. founded the William J. Sours Company, a home decorating manufacturing company, retiring in 1997 after 40 years of business. After his death, an award was established in his name in the Renée Crown University Honors Program.

2000 - Mark A. Reed ’77, G’79, G’83 (B.S., M.S., Ph.D. physics)
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Mark A. Reed is the Harold Hodgkinson Chair of Engineering and Applied Science at Yale University and the associate director of the Yale Institute for Nanoscience and Quantum Engineering.  His research activities include the investigation of electronic transport in nanoscale and mesoscopic systems, artificially structured materials and devices, molecular scale electronic transport, plasmonic transport in nanostructures, and nanosensors. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a recipient of the IEEE Pioneer Award in Nanotechnology. 


Learn More about Mark Reed.

1999 - Renée Crown ’50, H ’84 (B.A. fine arts)
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Renée Crown, a civic leader, philanthropist, and matriarch of Chicago’s renowned Crown family, is one of Syracuse University’s most esteemed alumnae. She serves on The College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors, is an emerita of Syracuse University’s Board of Trustees, and a recipient of the University’s most prestigious awards. Upon her retirement from the Board of Trustees, the Honors Program was renamed the Renée Crown University Honors Program.


Learn More about Renée Crown.

1999 - Jay L. Halio ’50 (B.A. english)
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Jay L. Halio, English professor emeritus at the University of Delaware, is an acclaimed scholar and author of more than 20 books in Shakespearean studies; Jewish studies; and modern literature, poetry, and drama. An annual prize was established in 2004 in honor of his scholarship and to encourage the work of young scholars. 


Learn More about Jay Halio.

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